selected reviews

Review of issue 15 by R. Lee of Underworld Crawl: "...I've been reading Thoughtworm since 2004. Over these past five years I've read six issues of this zine. When you're in contact with something as sporadic as this, small changes tend to take on greater significance. What's been most interesting to me has been the way Sean's writing has gradually grown more oblique over the years. If you enjoy writing that is clear, yet has it's own sort of logic, you really ought to get this. Thoughtworm is mostly comprised of Sean's journal entries. The entries are usually fairly short, but they're often not particularly to the point. That's not to say the writing is obtuse or difficult. The sentences are straight-forward and well formed and they draw you in. But this is where things get odd, because by the end of many of these entries you're not really sure what you've been told. They're almost like tone poems. Everything makes perfect sense, but it's certainly not obvious what it's all about. This isn't an easy thing to pull off without resorting to drivel. But there's none of that here. Instead you get short, strong stories with a depth that betrays the small space they occupy. Typically, I don't have much use for this sort of writing, but right now Sean is one of my favorite writers in or out of zines..."

Review of issue 13 by Stephanie Holmes in Xerography Debt #21: "...there's something comforting about carrying writing this good to cafes and diners around town. The story wakes up in Baltimore to the sounds of new life, brave tasks, and the reciprocal tax of waiting for implements like jobs and new friends. It ends with some resolve almost leaving us curious for more yet equally refreshed that the puzzle pieces are falling into place. "...It feels excellent to walk out of your place of employment on a Monday morning immediately after arriving. There is a lightening of the step, an extra surge of oxygen to the brain, a freeing of the soul," he wrote in his journal near the close of this installment. After so much change and a potential departure from THOUGHTWORM as we know it, I can only hope that the charged feeling is not too far away from Stewart as THOUGHTWORM turns 11, beginning another cycle of 10. Recommended."

Review of issue 12 by Todd Taylor in Razorcake #29: "I've been reading Thoughtworm for several years now, and its author, Sean, has a definite aptitude for clean, measured prose. And, for all the pitfalls that lay in wait for a perzine (over self-indulgence, mistaking the inner-workings of the author's head as the world-at-large, whining), Sean has a way of gently sidestepping most of these bear traps. This issue is no exception. It's set up as diary entries as Sean is struggling for nothing short of the meaning of his life. Recently separated, living in a town he doesn't like that much, and seeking therapy through physical activity—running, walking, and bike riding—it becomes more and more obvious that Sean is most comfortable with living creatures that can't talk to him. I can't help but think of Thoreau's Walden, without the politics."

From a review of issue 11 by Marc of Zine Thug: "What an outstanding issue...some people's writing you just relate to indescribably."

Review of issue 10 by Al Burian of Burn Collector: "Cover is a three-color silkscreened armadillo, and the contents live up to the promise of the cover. This zine is all about southwestern nature, mostly journal-type accounts of a move to Wichita Falls, and the culture shock which ensues. Meteor showers, the various species of pine tree, and lack of a thriving economy are all discussed here. I'd rather read the zine than move to the place, I think."

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